With the future of diesel engines becoming uncertain in India with each passing day, a full-fledged shift to EVs for manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki seems to be the next logical step, as evinced by this WagonR EV prototype.
Yes, this might not come across as an absolutely shocking and new development for many as the images of an Electric Maruti Suzuki WagonR have been doing the rounds on the internet for quite a while. However, we too have spotted one recently and can't help but dish out a few details and observations about it.
Looks bigger than the standard WagonR
Straight off the bat, those with a keen eye for detail will notice that this electric version certainly sports bigger dimensions than the standard WagonR currently on sale. An obvious first-drawn conclusion is that the extra space is needed to accommodate the heavy battery pack. However, it is not known yet whether Maruti Suzuki has fitted the battery pack in the floor of the car (to save interior space) or elsewhere. On the downside though, this one's boxier in appearance than its regular counterpart and even the design language seems to be a bit too out-of-the-box.
What's with the EV livery and graphics?
There's no doubt that EVs in India are struggling for popularity and adoption. Therefore, manufacturers will have to put in extra effort to make sure people look towards their electric products in the future. However, having said this, filling the car's exterior with boldly-written 'Electric Vehicle' livery does not seem to be the solution. This is just a one-way ticket to some abject ridicule. Let's hope the actual production-spec car goes lighter on its EV claim.
What's on offer?
Perhaps the most difficult question to answer at this point. While Maruti Suzuki has been doing a very good job so far of keeping the details under wraps, it is also difficult to make predictions since this is a first-of-its-kind product from Maruti Suzuki, therefore can't even take clues from any product. However, based on speculation, the electric WagonR might just offer a higher driving range than its competitors (like the Tata Tigor EV and Mahindra e-Verito), which are only good for about 140-150 km of driving on a single charge.
To make sure that the electric WagonR becomes a success, Maruti Suzuki will try and add a few more bells and whistles to it in order to make it a lucrative option. This could range from anything between the addition of more equipment to some after-sales schemes and benefits. So, expect the Electric WagonR to come with a price tag somewhere around the Rs 10 lakh mark. Plus, with the revisions brought in by the FAME-II policy guidelines, the electric WagonR might just offer some good subsidy amount to its customers. At this point, there is no confirmation of the electric WagonR's launch date.